From the Industrial Revolution to World War I, C. 1850–1914

Late Nineteenth-Century Painting

What was the Barbizon School?

The Barbizon School was a group of French painters who favored plein air landscape painting that broke with neoclassical conventions of idealization. The name of the group came from the small village of Barbizon where many of the founding artists lived. Artists of the Barbizon school, such as Charles-Frangois Daubigny, Jean-François Millet, and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, leaned towards realism and valued close observation of nature. Like artists before and after, they searched for “truth,” in the rural countryside of France. Although occasionally criticized, the artists of the Barbizon School, whose work is characterized by softness of forms and loose brushstrokes, went on to influence nineteenth-century French Realism and Impressionism.


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